Longboat: fresh ‘fast-track’ plans

The original proposals to demolish the existing Longboat Cafe and build a two-storey glass-fronted cafe have been amended and resubmitted using ‘fast track’ Government planning rules.

The plans, filed this week, look almost identical to those approved in October 2010 – except the building is approximately a third shorter in length and does not include the neighbouring town council-administered shelter.

Drawings show a new cafe on the ground floor with a possible capacity for 28 ‘covers’, and a first-floor coffee lounge with space for a further 24 people.

Three years ago, businessman Brent Hushon received planning permission to build a glass-fronted restaurant spanning his own land and on the footprint occupied by the then district council-owned shelter.

However, the plans were scuppered when East Devon District Council (EDDC) opted not to sell to Mr Hushon the shelter, which is now being refurbished for the Queen’s Jubilee.

He then submitted plans for a smaller, two-storey cafe, which appeared similar in design, but this was refused in February this year.

Now architects have applied for an amendment to the original approved planning permission.

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They have done so under a set of Government planning rules entitled ‘greater flexibility for planning permissions’.

These enable applicants, who already have permission, to submit an amendment without going through the full application process.

Mr Hushon said: “It’s an amendment on a scheme the planning committee gave unanimous support for.

“The changes are reflected in the non-availability of the shelter. It’s the same design, but smaller. It fits into the curtilage of our land.

“I am pretty confident we will get planning approval for the scheme because we have already got it. I look forward to the debate.”

A spokesman for EDDC said: “In this case, the applicant has used this process to add an extra condition to the 2010 permission.

“The applicant has now made a planning application to amend this condition, the result of which is a new proposal for the development of the Longboat Cafe.

“The proposal will be consulted upon in the usual way and letters have already been sent to interested parties, explaining that they have until May 11 to comment on the new plans, which are available online.”